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Murray expresses ‘serious concerns about moving forward’ on court nominee; Cantwell vows thorough review

WASHINGTON — Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Tuesday night she has “serious concerns about moving forward with a Supreme Court nomination at this time” because of actions President Donald Trump has taken that she contends show “a true disdain” for the law.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., did not go quite so far after Trump nominated appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, saying only she has “concerns” about Gorsuch’s record, but that she will review it thoroughly.

The nomination must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Neither Murray nor Cantwell sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will first hold hearings on the nominee.

Here is the statement that Murray issued Tuesday night:

“In his first days in office, President Trump has demonstrated a clear disregard for the law, for the Constitution, and for American values. From his abhorrent and un-American ban on Muslim refugees and immigrants, to his firing of an acting Attorney General who stood up and told him the truth—he has made it clear that he doesn’t just think he is above the law, he has at times shown true disdain for it.

“With so much chaos in the Administration and so many questions surrounding this President’s commitment to the rule of law and the separation of powers—I have serious concerns about moving forward with a Supreme Court nomination at this time and will be joining with those pushing back against jamming this nominee through or rushing a confirmation in any way.

“I am hoping that President Trump pulls back from this chaos and makes it clear that he is truly committed to the rule of law and an independent justice system and judiciary. When and if the time is right, I will evaluate this nominee using the standards I have long used when it comes to Supreme Court nominees—and I would certainly start my process with deep concerns about whether this nominee would be someone who would protect our Constitutional rights and liberties and would respect critical precedents on issues like privacy, workers’ rights, protecting women’s access to health care and upholding Roe v. Wade, and more.”

Cantwell issued this statement:

“The American people deserve a Supreme Court justice who will ensure full protection of all their rights, especially the right to privacy. There is too much at stake – from women’s choice and immigration reform to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality to voting rights and campaign finance reform. I have concerns about Judge Gorsuch’s record on a number of important issues. We need a justice who will help move our country forward, not backwards, as part of a Court that recognizes settled law.

“I take my responsibility to provide advice and consent very seriously. I will review Judge Gorsuch’s record thoroughly, follow his nomination hearings closely, and I plan to meet with him to ask my own questions. I will be weighing these considerations along with the comments of my constituents as I consider this nomination.”